Definition of desperate
1a : having lost hope a desperate spirit crying for reliefb : giving no ground for hope the outlook was desperate
2a : moved by despair or utter loss of hope victims made desperate by abuseb : involving or employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat or frustration made a desperate leap for the rope
3 : suffering extreme need or anxiety desperate for money desperate to escape celebrities desperate for attention
4 : involving extreme danger or possible disaster a desperate situation
5 : of extreme intensity … a desperate languor descended heavily upon her, and she slept … — Elinor Wylie
Examples of desperate in a Sentence
The collapse of her business had made her desperate.
As the supply of food ran out, people became desperate.
We could hear their desperate cries for help.
a desperate struggle to defeat the enemy
He made a desperate bid to save his job.
They made one last desperate attempt to fight their way out.
Recent Examples of desperate from the Web
While the law is becoming more welcoming to desperate Venezuelans, Colombians are growing increasingly nervous about the influx.
For the first time in a decade, the climate crusade is on its heels and desperate for a cogent message and strong leadership.
Gates was nonetheless forced to retire after the riots, and the commissioners effectively fired the next two chiefs, who in their collective ten years on the job failed to make the lasting changes the city was so desperate for.
The Iraqi and local Kurdish forces who have pushed, block-by-block, into ISIS territory have faced the complex task of discerning who among the desperate locals may be ISIS members or sympathizers.
Inside Mosul’s Old City, civilians fleeing Iraqi advance are increasingly desperate.
Clark Wade/IndyStar INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers, in desperate need of a suitable point guard, will add Darren Collison to next season’s roster.
Beyond building what could be the most competitive expansion team in NHL history, McPhee has the golden opportunity to play some desperate teams against each other and build a collection of draft picks and other assets.
The offense is desperate for someone with his explosiveness.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'desperate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of desperate
DESPERATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of desperate for English Language Learners
: very sad and upset because of having little or no hope : feeling or showing despair
: very bad or difficult to deal with
: done with all of your strength or energy and with little hope of succeeding
DESPERATE Defined for Kids
Definition of desperate for Students
1 : very sad and worried and with little or no hope People became desperate for food.
2 : showing great worry and loss of hope a desperate call for help
3 : giving little reason to hope : causing despair a desperate situation
4 : reckless because of despair : rash He made a desperate attempt to escape.
5 : very severe The injury is in desperate need of attention.
Seen and Heard
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